Cognitive Business: When Cloud and Cognitive Computing Merge

By: Kevin Jackson| - Leave a comment

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Cloud computing has taken over the business world! With almost maniacal focus, single proprietors and Board Directors of the world’s largest conglomerates see this new model as a “must do”. This rapid shift is, in fact, accelerating. As Jeff Bertolucci observes in “The Shift to Cloud Services Is Happening Faster Than Expected”:

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Figure 1- Computer Wins on ‘Jeopardy!’: Trivial, It’s Not –

“According to the sixth annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey, which examines the big-picture trends shaping IT infrastructure delivery and strategy, the move to cloud services is accelerating. The Uptime Institute’s February 2016 poll of more than 1,000 data center and IT professionals predicts that an even faster shift to the cloud will occur over the next four years, reports ZDNet.”

Another maybe even more important trend that is actually being driven by cloud computing is the rapid expansion of cognitive computing. In this arena, IBM’s Watson, famously known for defeating Jeopardy gameshow champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, has quickly established itself as a commercial cognitive computing powerhouse. Contemporary reports of the Jeopardy contest from the New York Times cited this victory as IBM’s “…proof that the company has taken a big step toward a world in which intelligent machines will understand and respond to humans, and perhaps inevitably, replace some of them”. Although we are not yet at the human replacement stage, the merger of cloud and cognitive computing is rocking the business status quo.

Coined as “Cognitive Business”, this trend can deliver quantum level improvement to just about any industry vertical. Examples include:

  • Using highly automated and economic cloud infrastructure to deliver proactive and predictive monitoring and threat interception in cybersecurity;
  • Leveraging cloud computing device independence to enable real-time social media analytics that coordinate delivery of context driven information and commercial offers across multiple marketing channels;
  • Establishing connectivity across over 6.4 billion sensors so that analytics and cognitive computing programs can provide actionable insight from real-time and historic data; and
  • Hybrid Cloud data architectures that use cognitive computing capabilities to maintain content traceability and lifecycle management to enable the auditable management of licenses, terms of use, and changes to third-party data.

Cognitive systems understand by interaction, reason by generating recommendations and hypotheses, and learn from human experts and data. Since they never stop learning they also never stop providing business value.  With this blending of cloud infrastructure and cognitive applications, the impossible can suddenly become easy!

If your business wants to take advantage of this important transition, the time to take action is now. Your initial steps should include:

  • Develop a cognitive strategy by deciding which of your products, services, processes and operations should be infused with cognition. Your strategy should include identifying your organizations data needs and picking the experts to train the cognitive system.
  • Collect and curate the data that is most useful to driving your business model. This step will help in creating an organizational foundation of data and analytics.
  • Use cloud services that are designed specifically for your industry vertical. Such services will incorporate the application programming interface (API) building blocks necessary to power your future cognitive products and services.
  • Acquire hybrid cloud service broker expertise and develop a hybrid infrastructure transition plan that combines your current IT systems with private and/or public clouds. This combination will serve as a backbone of your cognitive business.
  • Establish and build-in a data-centric security model from the start. This focus will give you the ability to secure every transaction, piece of data and interaction as cognitive systems make their way into the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Secure systems ensure trust in the entire system and ultimately, the organization’s reputation.

(Five Ways To Build A Cognitive Business, )

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Figure 2- Cloud and Cognitive Computing Merge to drive business value in multiple industry verticals

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About The Author

Kevin Jackson

CEO/Founder, GovCloud Network

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a “Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand” by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post “Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter” (2013) and a “Top 50 Cloud Computing Blogger for IT Integrators” by CRN (2015). Mr. Jackson’s professional career includes service in the US Navy Space Systems Command, Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and NJVC Vice President, Cloud Services. He is currently part of a team responsible for onboarding mission applications to the US Intelligence Community cloud computing environment (IC ITE). He is also a National Cyber security Institute Fellow. His first book, “GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government” was published by Government Training Inc. and released in March 2011. His second book, released in 2012 by the same publisher, is titled “GovCloud II: Implementation and Cloud Brokerage Services". His next publication, “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View”, will be released by Taylor & Francis in the spring of 2016.

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